Research

Matthew J. Smetona’s research interests center on the modern German philosophical tradition and the Marxist tradition. He works primarily on Hegel, Marx, Lukács, and the German theorists and philosophers associated with the development of critical theory. He has published on topics including the logical basis of Hegel’s political philosophy, the role of social norms in Marx’s critique of political economy, and Lukács’s theory of reification. He has an interdisciplinary interest in the relation between literature and politics. In seeking to develop the argument for the priority of the political interpretation of literary texts, his interest in this area centers on the nineteenth-century European realist novel. For a list of his publications, please see the following page. 

Praise for Hegel’s Logical Comprehension of the Modern State:

“To the best of my knowledge, this book is unique. Hegel’s Logical Comprehension of the Modern State is about Hegel’s work, primarily for Hegelians and masterfully written from an insider’s perspective. It is a rare item insofar as the last century has been dominated by revisionist approaches that seek to rehabilitate Hegel’s political thought on appropriative terms while jettisoning or understating its foundations in his logical work and its metaphysical program. […] What he has achieved is a truly singular, immanent, and dedicated reading of Hegel’s logic and politics, which stands out among the revisionist and rehabilitative offerings of the last generation and beyond. This of course is not to suggest that he is either unaware or unreflective of contemporary scholarship, which he makes ample use of in distinguishing his case. Rather, his work crystallizes and revivifies appreciation for the logico-metaphysical dimension of Hegel’s political philosophy in a masterful and comprehensive way that successfully upsets the standard view. […] Hegel’s Logical Comprehension of the Modern State in and of itself provides a penetrating and intimate view of the inner workings and Logic that drive Hegel’s political thought. It is the best Hegelian reading of the two works to be offered in quite some time. Smetona’s evocation of the conceptual systematicity of Hegel’s logic and politics is both a substantial contribution to current scholarship and a dissenting lens through which it may yet be transformed.”

Perspectives on Politics vol. 12, no. 4 (Dec. 2014)